Fire Queen Exhibit
Fighting Attleboro's Fires Through 1885
Th, Fri: 10AM-4PM, Sat: 10AM-2PM
What Will You See at the Exhibit?
See every detail of the 170-year-old Fire Queen that fought fires in Attleboro until about 1885. You may be surprised to know that this hand-pumped engine required 24 people to operate! Aboard the Fire Queen, you’ll also find a list of larger fires that have taken place in Attleboro—with rare historical photos. This includes the Great Fire of 1898.
Learn the Story of Attleboro's 19th-Century Fire Queen
Before Water Mains, Attleboro Used This Hand-Pumped Engine to Fight Fires.
Say hello to Attleboro’s Fire Queen. This hand-pumped engine was built and purchased around 1850 and had to be operated by 24 people at once.
Attleboro’s fire department was organized in 1859 and the Fire Queen was stored at a local fire station in a small building on the end of Bank Street. It was in operation until about 1885, when the town upgraded its fire protection—installing water mains in its most populated areas.
Over the years, the Fire Queen was stationed and stored in various locations, including Wilmarth’s barn on North Main Street and in Norton, Massachusetts. Finally, in the 1950s, the Fire Queen returned to Attleboro after it was purchased by the Attleboro Fire Fighters Relief Association for $1.00. The Queen was rehabilitated by the association and later given to the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum.
An interesting clause exists should the museum ever relinquish ownership of the Fire Queen. In that case, it will be sold back to the Attleboro Firefighters Relief Association for, yet again, $1.00.
In our exhibit, you’ll also find a list of major fires that have taken place over the years in Attleboro. This includes the Great Fire of 1898, which wiped out many jewelry manufacturing buildings in one night. You can also read about the Bates Building Fire, the Watson Building Fire, the Thompson Chemical Company Fire, the “Castle” Fire, and more.
Fast Fact #23
Did you know? In 1950, the Fire Queen returned to Attleboro after it was purchased by the Attleboro Fire Fighter's Association for $1.00. It was later given to us by the association.
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